AUTHORArnold, Lorna
TITLEA Very Special Relationship: British Atomic Weapon Trials in Australia
PUBLISHERHMSO Publications Center
CITYLondon, England
DATE PUBLISHED1987
ISBN0-11-772412-2


This book discusses the five series of nuclear weapon tests that Great Britain conducted in Australia from 1955 to 1960. Those tests are significant because it is the only instance in which a nuclear nation cooperated with and tested missiles in a non-nuclear nation; the author states that was possible because of the special relationship between Great Britain and Australia. The book gives an explanation of the politics and reasoning behind Great Britain testing nuclear weapons and Australia allowing another country to test nuclear weapons on its soil. Each of the five series of tests (Hurricane, Totem, Mosaic, Buffalo, and Antler) is discussed in terms of planning, strategy, organization, safety, results, and achievements. Also, some historical information about site changes and technology developments is interspersed between chapters. The book contains a section of black and white photographs from the Australian tests. An extensive set of appendices include a timeline of nuclear events from 1945 to 1967, safety regulations and hazards, fallout hazards, data collected from the tests, and memoranda from the intergovernmental dealings. Lorna Arnold had unique access to official archives and is ably qualified to write such a work. Arnold worked closely with the late Margaret Gowing on two of her three volumes of the history of the British atomic energy project: specifically Britain and Atomic Energy 1945-1952 (1974) Vol. 1 Policy Making and Vol. 2 Policy Execution.


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